Doug Ford’s Toronto politics the latest casualty of Ontario PC leader’s campaign

As Ford Nation cranks up, Mayor John Tory appears to be on his way out.

When the Ford-founded PCs went to conventions in Barrie, Milton and Brantford this weekend, the mayor didn’t make an appearance. In two years, the Ford brand could be fighting its political death.

WATCH LIVE: Marla Dickerson-Keaton on the media, Ford Nation and Mayor John Tory

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Ford Nation wanted and received a break with Tory while the mayor was in Washington, D.C. attending the Nuclear Security Summit.

READ MORE: Ontario PC leader Doug Ford feels pressure to take up Twitter role

Tory has been an unusually strong Conservative voice in a province that’s been drifting leftward. When Ford pulled out of the race for Toronto mayor, he gained the audience he needed to launch the campaign for leadership of the province.

Tory’s endgame has been to avoid an early conflict with Ford over Premier Kathleen Wynne.

As Ontario’s premier has been forced to confront growing problems over the past 18 months, news that Tory was moving towards leaving his position has been met with elation on Ford Nation.

WATCH MORE: Doug Ford speaks out on second Metropolis appearance

Hundreds have taken to social media to call for a “new generation” for Toronto City Hall that would stand against the “establishment” and “elites”.

Tory’s ego — however well-intentioned — will only encourage Ford supporters to plan their own grand protests. If one of them wins the leadership, he will be given an opportunity to toss an incumbent mayor out of office.

READ MORE: John Tory to head back to DC to speak at Nuclear Security Summit

The newly minted PC leader wants a guaranteed seat in cabinet. If he wants that seat, he needs to get the premier, Wynne, to go out for a beer.

READ MORE: Doug Ford’s taken a beating at his first leadership debate

Elections Canada’s official leadership vote returns are not expected to be due until Monday afternoon. While the party currently has 47 leadership candidates, Premier Doug Ford is the only one currently declared.

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